Finding the Invincible Summer

“In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer. And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.”

~ Albert Camus

It is deep in January and the northeast US is in the throws of a winter storm -blizzard conditions. Frozen blowing snow – cold wet and unforgiving. Winter is hard for many reasons – the short and overcast gray days can be as hard on some as the cold and wet conditions. It is at this time, in the midst of winter that it can useful to reflect on what powers your “invincible summer.” What keeps you going when conditions are almost unbearable? Here are some questions that may facilitate such a reflection:

1) Think of the worst two or three experiences of your life. What helped you get through these challenges?

2) What kinds of experiences jolt you with powerful energy even when you are tired or discouraged (e.g., your young child crying, a call form a friend in need, etc.) ?

3) Recall an experience in which you seemed guided by some power or force beyond your control – guiding your actions and thinking. What was that experience like for you?

4) Remember a time that you almost gave up on something, but somehow managed to continue. What happened that allowed you to continue? What is your best guess about where the energy and desire to continue came from?

In engaging in this reflection do not seek to understand the internal invincible summer. Rather to acknowledge its presence and to validate its existence, even if it can never be fully understood.

Michael Winters is a Psychologist in Houston focusing on marriage counseling and therapy. Michael received his PhD from the University of Memphis and has been practicing since 1991.